Together, we honor our heritage, embrace diversity, and work every day to improve the health of our community.

Diversity & Inclusion

As one of the largest employers in Topeka, many of our team members come from diverse backgrounds. At Stormont Vail Health, we celebrate those unique backgrounds and the cultures, perspectives, and identities that make us who we are.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Stormont Vail

What is Diversity?

Humans are anything but one-dimensional. We differ in race, ethnicity, gender, ability, language, manners and culture, social status and roles, sexual orientation, education, skills, and so much more. These differences make us diverse. By embracing these differences, we can learn, grow, and usher in a brighter future.

What is Equity?

Workplace equity is the concept of providing fair opportunities for all employees based on their individual needs. Equity differs from equality in that it doesn’t provide the same resources and opportunities to everyone. With equity, an organization recognizes that every team member has different access to resources and privileges. We realize that team members with less access may require more support in order to take fair advantage of opportunities within our organization.

What is Inclusion?

Inclusion in the workplace is about creating a sense of belonging, understanding and respect for our team members. Making sure everyone has a voice is vital in creating a more inclusive work environment. We honor and embrace the diversity each team member brings to our organization.

I.D.E.A. Committee

At Stormont Vail, we hold ourselves accountable for our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Our I.D.E.A. (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) Committee is a forward-thinking and collaborative committee comprised of team members from across our organization. Each member brings passion, connection, knowledge, communication ability, creativity and empowerment.

The role of the I.D.E.A. Committee is to serve as an advisory committee to the Stormont Vail Operating Committee in collaborating and generating ideas to create and organizational culture and climate in which:

  • Every voice is valued
  • Team members and patients have a sense of belonging and connection with one another and to the organization
  • Team members feel empowered to do their best work
  • Patient experience is top priority

The I.D.E.A. Committee is charged with researching, developing, and proposing actions that will create a supportive, positive and inclusive work and patient care environment.

I.D.E.A. Committee Members & Sub-Committees

David Villanueva, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

System Director, Employee Relations, Employee Health and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Saida Bonifield, MSEd.

Manager, Employee Relations and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Barb Columbus, MA, BSN, RN, I.D.E.A.

Committee Chair
Manager, Telehealth Services

Education Committee

Focus on team member and provider education, annual education, unconscious bias training and feedback, and advising how to approach sensitive subjects.

  • Jacqueline Kenoly, M.D., Physician, Express Care
  • Mario Rocha, Assistant, Talent Acquisition
  • Harsha Moole, Hospitalist
  • Michael Ramierz, Director, Rehab Administrator
  • Sarah Evans-Simpson, Forensic Nurse Supervisor, SANE/Trauma
  • Jessica Shippee McDaniel, Assistant Professor, Nursing

Patient Experience Committee

Focus on how best to serve patients, inequities and disparities in health care in our community, creating an equity dashboard, and external website.

  • Laura Smith, Patient Experience Manager
  • Karla Hedquist, Director, Community Engagement
  • Sara Simon, Nutritional Services, Sedexo
  • Jenny Kwong, Manager, Sleep Center
  • Erika Sanchez-Cabello, 7-West Medical/Surgery
  • Emersen Frazier, Administrative Intern
  • Alicia Criger, Care Manager, Emporia

Team Member Experience Committee

Focus on how best to serve our staff (examples: benefits, inclusive language, pronouns, external website DEI page, and internal Stormont Vail site).

  • David Villanueva, System Director, Employee Relations, Employee Health and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Kate Burns, Organizational Development Consultant, Learning & Talent Connection
  • Lisa Douglas, Provider Recruitment Services, Physician Support
  • Jason Gardner, Therapist, Behavioral Health
  • Jodi Wulfkuhle, APRN, Osage City

Event Planning Committee

Celebration and recognition of upcoming events (Examples: Hispanic Heritage Month, LGBTQ+ Month, Black History Month) and how to celebrate as an organization.

  • Angelina Cooper, RN, Charge Nurse, 4th Pavilion
  • Barb Columbus, Manager, Telehealth Services
  • Erika Berry-Herlein, RN, CASE MANAGER, HOSPITALISTS
  • Steven Taylor, Security Manager, Security
  • Evan Meyers, Creative Writer, Marketing & Communications

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